The mission of Encore Vocal Arts is to entertain and uplift our community through music and collaborations that celebrate the human spirit.
Encore Vocal Arts is an auditioned chamber choir that creates compelling choral experiences unlike any other – multi-sensory worlds where song and image and story are woven together. Founded by Elise Marshall in 1972, as the Indianapolis Arts Chorale, Encore Vocal Arts is the longest continuously-performing chamber choir in Indianapolis, with a solid reputation for high-caliber, entertaining performances.
Encore’s core ensemble of 32 -- 40 auditioned singers represent some of the finest talent in the state. While some of the members are professional musicians, many are vocational musicians. Singers range in age from just out of college to retirees. Homemakers, realtors, teachers, ministers, executives, doctors--all are represented in our membership, and all are brought together by a love for choral literature and a commitment to its performance and promotion.
Artistic Director Gregory Ristow joined the staff of Encore in 2012. He is also director of choral activities at the DePauw University School of Music, where he conducts the Chamber Singers and University Chorus and teaches classes in choral conducting and choral literature. Dr. Ristow also serves as conductor of the Interlochen Singers and teaches Eurhythmics at the Interlochen Arts Camp, in Interlochen, Michigan. Previously, he served as director of choirs at Lone Star College-Montgomery (2004-2009), where he received the 2008 faculty excellence award, and at the Rochester Institute of Technology (2009-2011).
In addition to his work as a choral conductor, Dr. Ristow is in demand as a teacher of Dalcroze Eurhythmics, a method of teaching music through movement. He served as instructor of Eurhythmics at the Eastman School of Music (2009-2011), and since 2004, has frequently directed the Eastman Summer Dalcroze Institute, an intensive one-week program for teachers looking to incorporate Dalcroze Eurhythmics techniques in their teaching. He has frequently served on the faculty of the Eastman Summer Choral Conducting Institute, where he teaches Eurhythmics-based movement classes for conductors, as well as classes on using Eurhythmics in choral rehearsals. In the 2012-13 season he will present Eurhythmics classes and workshops in New York, Seattle, Ohio, Tulsa, and Toronto.
Ristow holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in conducting from the Eastman School of Music, where he taught undergraduate conducting, graduate choral conducting, and was assistant conductor of the Eastman Chorale and the Eastman-Rochester Chorus. While at Eastman, Dr. Ristow received both the TA Award for excellence in teaching and the Edward Curtis Peck Award for Excellence in Teaching by a Graduate Student, the university’s highest such honor. Additionally, he holds the Bachelor of Music degree in music education from the Oberlin College Conservatory, the Master of Music degree in conducting and Master of Arts degree in music theory pedagogy from the Eastman School of Music, the Dalcroze certificate from the Juilliard School (studying with Robert Abramson), and the Dalcroze License from the Longy School of Music (studying with Anne Farber and Lisa Parker). He has studied piano with Lydia Frumkin, harpsichord with William Porter, and voice with mezzo-soprano Kathryn Cowdrick.
As a singer, he has received praise as a performer with "star quality" who was "striking whenever he appeared on stage" (Indianapolis Examiner). He has sung professionally with the Houston Chamber Choir and Houston’s Mercury Baroque, and conducted professionally with Houston’s Foundation for Modern Music, Rochester’s Gregory Kunde Chorale, and Rochester’s Voices: A professional chamber choir. He also programs and runs the ear-training website Musical Mind (http://www.musicalmind.org).
Encore 's regular season includes five performances a year with a concert subscription series and numerous appearances at other venues around Indianapolis. Encore has performed at the Penrod Arts Fair, Hannah Arts Day, WSYW Classic Fest, Indy Parks Summer Concert Series, Holocaust Remembrance Day and the Artsgarden. Collaborations have included the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, Indianapolis Ballet Theater, Eastern Star Baptist Choir, Jennie DeVoe, Dance Kaleidoscope, the Carmel Symphony Orchestra, Cathy Morris, and local best-selling author Phil Gulley.